- Sue Chook’s frustration with the shortage of girls’s sports activities protection led to her new media firm.
- Co-founded with Alex Morgan, Chloe Kim, and Simone Manuel, TOGETHXR goals to degree the taking part in area.
- Chook spoke to Insider about offering “extra ‘see it, be it’ moments for the youthful technology.”
- Go to Insider’s homepage for extra tales.
Sue Chook has been fed up with ladies’s sports activities protection — or lack thereof — for a really, very very long time.
In reality, the WNBA icon can nonetheless bear in mind the primary time she noticed knowledgeable athlete who regarded like her. She was already a teen.
“After I was a child, there was nobody on TV for me to look as much as,” Chook advised Insider. “Individuals ask me on a regular basis, simply basically interviews, ‘Oh, who’d you mannequin your sport after? Who did you look as much as?’ and for modeling my sport, I haven’t got a solution as a result of there was no person to look at at these ages.”
Three many years and an esteemed profession later, every part and nothing has modified. Chook has racked up 4 WNBA championships, 11 All-Star nods, extra assists than anybody within the league’s historical past, and 4 Olympic gold medals.
However via all of it, the media panorama has hardly budged. As we speak, only 4% of sports media coverage is devoted to women’s sports, leaving even the celebs of Chook’s magnitude thirsting for recognition.
“It has been irritating at instances — I might be mendacity if I stated it wasn’t,” Chook admitted. “Once you take a look at the quantity 4%, it is simply insanely, nearly unbelievably low. That should change.”
So now, on the twilight of her illustrious profession, Chook is taking it upon herself to assist facilitate the change — together with some like-minded and similarly-situated superstars. She teamed up with US Girls’s Nationwide Crew striker Alex Morgan, snowboarding prodigy Chloe Kim, and trailblazing swimmer Simone Manuel to create their very own media firm targeted on ladies. Every of them, like Chook, is an Olympic gold medalist and a pacesetter of their respective sport
TOGETHXR, which formally launched at the start of March, is the ensuing sports activities and life-style platform with the formidable however lengthy overdue objective of eradicating the gender inequality hole in media protection. They usually’re going even additional. Past tackling sexism, TOGETHXR is targeted on providing range in all varieties, and its founding foursome serves as only one manifestation of the publication’s emphasis on “illustration and intersectionality.”
“The 4 of them are so completed on their very own, however collectively I joke that they are just like the Avengers,” Chief Content material Officer Jessica Robertson advised Insider. “They’ve totally different ages, they play totally different sports activities, there’s totally different accomplishments, there’s totally different orientations, and totally different races. It is simply such an unbelievable, highly effective collective.”
For Chook, these variations fortify the group as a result of “having totally different voices, totally different concepts, totally different outlooks at that desk and with the ability to throw concepts round [is] the way you get the great things.” Having a various group of founders additionally contributes to TOGETHXR’s final objective of offering “see it, be it” moments to as many younger ladies as doable.
The concept, Chook defined, is that younger persons are higher in a position to aspire to one thing as soon as they see somebody like them doing it first. Her personal “see it, be it” second — her realization that she may change into knowledgeable basketball participant — got here “fairly late within the sport” after watching celebrity Jennifer Azzi play for the primary time.
“I did not get mine till I used to be 14,” Chook stated. “Even then, I used to be in all probability fortunate to get it, and that is coming from a white lady. So these days, we have to get extra tales out about different folks.”
“After which what’s going to hopefully come from that’s extra ‘see it, be it’ moments for the youthful technology.”